It doesn’t take an expert to see that we humans are social creatures who crave companionship, love and support. As a result, friendship plays a crucial role in our lives. Good friends can increase our sense of belonging, give us a purpose, boost our happiness, and improve our self-confidence. They can also help us cope with traumas such as death, divorce and job loss.
However, despite the many benefits that strong friendships bring, not all friends are good for us. You may sometimes encounter a ‘toxic’ friendship that drains positivity away from you and prevents you from being your best self.
Our time on Earth is too short to feel negative and so it’s important to surround yourself with people that radiate positivity, love and kindness rather than those that thrive on negativity. Unsure whether it’s time to ditch a particular friend? Here are 5 signs it’s time to cut someone out of your life:
They regularly say negative things to you about others
When a close friend starts saying negative things about the other people in your friendship group, you may question whether they say bad things about you when you’re not around.
Unfortunately, most of us will come across people like this in our lives. Whether they’re judging someone for their actions or picking holes in a person’s personality, it can seem as though they have nothing positive to say.
The worst thing is, negativity can be contagious and if you’re not careful, you may start to behave in a similar way. If you’re tired of hearing their criticisms and being a witness to their backstabbing ways, it could be time to distance yourself from this person.
They make you feel bad about yourself
Our friends are supposed to lift us up, empower us to be the best versions of ourselves, and support us in everything (okay, almost everything) we do. Friends don’t make friends feel bad about themselves. So, if your friend’s nasty words make cause a dent in your confidence or force you to question your own actions, it could be time to cut cords and continue your life without this person.
They take everything they can but never give back
At some point in our lives, we’re likely to come across people that like to drain our resources without giving anything back. This type of person will ask you to do favours for them on a regular basis but if you ever need their help, support or time, they’ll make excuses.
Give and take is the lifeblood of a strong friendship. Without an equal balance, the person left carrying the weight of the relationship can become filled with bitterness, resentment and disappointment. Don’t let that be you. If your friend is reluctant to offer you the devotion you deserve, you’re better off without them.
They waste your time
Do you know someone who is a perpetual time waster? Perhaps they regularly suggest meeting you for lunch or they agree to look after your kids for an afternoon only to let you down at the last minute. You may even have a friend who arranges social events that you know, deep down, they’ll never actually attend.
There are so many reasons why a person may be ‘flaky’. They may find it hard to say ‘no’ to things they don’t want to do. They may lack confidence. They may struggle with anxiety, causing them to duck out of social situations with little notice. They may not value your time as much as their own.
If you suspect your friend is well meaning, avoid criticising them or accusing them of being a bad friend. Instead, be sympathetic and ask them whether something’s preventing them from sticking to their promises. If they refuse to acknowledge that their behaviour is placing a strain on the friendship or they’re unwilling to change, move on. Your time is valuable.
They don’t take responsibility for their actions
Everyone makes mistakes and we’re all guilty of making poor choices from time to time. Sometimes our bad decisions affect ourselves but there are also occasions where our choices impact others.
When a friend makes a mistake, says something mean, or does something that has a negative effect on those around them, it can be draining if they refuse to take responsibility for their actions. It can be even more frustrating if they place the blame on others.
If you have a friend who constantly accuses others of being at fault or acts as though the universe is against them, get out of the friendship as quickly as you can.